Activists conduct sweep against Malaysians on street
Dozens of activists from the Ganyang Malaysia (Crush Malaysia) Volunteers conducted a street sweep against the neighboring country’s citizens on Jl. Diponegoro, in Central Jakarta, on Tuesday.
The ID card check lasted about three hours before the police stepped in and dispersed the activists, who failed to find any Malaysian national.
The volunteers, clad in red and white accessories, stopped every pedestrian, motorcyclist and driver, asking them to show their ID cards.
One of the volunteers, Aji Kusuma, said the group initiated the sweep as they were disappointed with the government's slow response to Malaysia’s repeated claims on Indonesian cultural heritage.
“Our dignity and pride has been trampled on, but the government seems to ignore it,” secretary-general of the Volunteers to Defend Democracy (Repdem) told The Jakarta Post.
“We need a decisive government and we don't think it exists under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.”
The ID check caused the traffic around Cikini in Menteng district to halt for several hours despite the police’s efforts to channel the flow of vehicles to alternative routes.
Central Jakarta Police chief of operation Adj. Sr. Comr. Aries Syahbudin said the sweeping was considered illegal.
“They did not notify us about their rally in advance,” Aries said.
The activists threatened to conduct another sweep in the next few days.
“We will evaluate our action today before we plan the next rally. It could take place outside the Malaysian embassy,” Aji said.
Founding president Sukarno launched a Ganyang Malaysia campaign in the mid 60s to fight against the formation of a Malaysian confederation state, which was deemed as a neo-colonialist power’s move to lay siege to Indonesia. (bbs)